0530 GMT October 20, 2019
Guterres told the 193-member UN General Assembly that multilateralism is under fire when it is needed most, Reuters reported.
“Individual leaders have the duty to advance the well-being of their people,” Guterres said. “But it runs deeper ... As guardians of the common good, we also have a duty to promote and support a reformed, reinvigorated and strengthened multilateral system.”
He called for a renewed commitment to a rules-based order with the United Nations at its center and warned against a spreading “politics of pessimism.”
“Those who see their neighbors as dangerous may cause a threat where there was none. Those who close their borders to regular migration only fuel the work of traffickers,” Guterres said. “And those who ignore human rights in combating terrorism tend to breed the very extremism they are trying to end.”
He also urged leaders to tackle climate change with a greater sense of ambition and urgency and said he would hold a summit on the issue in September next year. The US administration withdrew from a global accord to reduce emissions last year.
“If we do not change course in the next two years, we risk runaway climate change,” Guterres said.